|Original author(s)||Jason Barnabe|
|Initial release||9 October 2005|
Opera 12 (Presto)
Stylish is a user style manager that can change the appearance of web pages in a user's browser without changing their content by including user-supplied CSS style sheets with those supplied by the web site itself. The Stylish browser extension includes tools with which to write user styles, and can install user styles written by other Stylish users from a companion website. These user styles may be more or less selective, targeting just one web page, or all of the pages on a domain, or every page on the web.
Stylish was originally developed by Jason Barnabe as an XUL/XPCOM add-on for Mozilla Firefox. A Chrome extension followed in 2010, which was released for Blink-based Opera 15 in 2013 and as a Firefox WebExtension in 2017. Similar extensions for Safari and for Presto-based Opera are distributed as 'Stylish' by other developers with Barnabe's approval.
User styles are CSS code designed to alter the appearance of one, some, or all sites. Stylish for Firefox can additionally style the skin of the browser itself, but the Android version does not support this because the user interface is built in native Android code. The styles are applied only to the targets specified. Individual user styles can be enabled or disabled without having to restart the browser.
User styles are added to the CSS rules provided by the site, but can also override the site's styling (often requiring the
!important keyword for each replacement rule). The most common uses are ad blocking, applying a new color scheme, and eliminating unwanted page elements.
There are three classes of user styles. Site styles change the appearance of a particular web site. Global styles change the appearance of all web sites. App styles change the appearance of the Firefox user interface, only supported on Firefox. It is similar to the
userChrome.css CSS file used by Firefox and Mozilla-based browsers.
In September 2016 Jason Barnabe, the creator of Stylish and userstyles.org, announced that, having lost interest in the project, he had "chosen Justin Hindman as the next leader of Stylish and userstyles.org." Hindman had no prior connection to either Stylish or userstyles.org, and it soon became clear that Barnabe had simply sold them to Hindman in a straw purchase for Israeli analytics company SimilarWeb.
In December 2016 Hindman began releasing updates to Stylish for Chrome which returned a perfect replica of the user's browsing activity to Userstyles. On 3 January 2017 he announced a "partnership" with SimilarWeb in which "Stylish users [would] be joining SimilarWeb’s market research panel.". A Firefox webextension (3.0.1) with the malware was released on 10 November, after a final update (2.1.1) to the Stylish XUL+XPCOM add-on on 31 October to migrate user styles to a webextension-compatible database.
In July 2018, after these issues were publicized by a software engineer, Stylish was pulled from both the Chrome Web Store and Mozilla Add-ons, as well as being automatically uninstalled for all existing users. Stylish returned to Mozilla Add-ons on 16 August and to the Chrome Web Store on 5 November with the same malware but sporting a new opt-in page asking users to agree to the data collection when the extension was installed. Both platforms continue to report more users of Stylish than of its most popular alternative, Stylus, despite the malware.
Alternatives to Stylish
A userscript manager such as Greasemonkey or Tampermonkey can add a local style sheet to a web page by adding the style sheet content to an HTML
<style> tag and adding the tag to the page. User styles from Userstyles.org can be downloaded as user scripts for use with a userscript manager.
In Firefox, user styles for web sites and browser chrome can be added to local files
userChrome.css, respectively. As of Firefox 69, user must switch the
toolkit.legacyUserProfileCustomizations.stylesheets preference to true in
about:config in order to load these files.
- Justin Hindman (January 3, 2017). "Announcement to the Community". userstyles.org. Archived from the original on January 5, 2017.
- np [Jason Barnabe] (9 October 2005). "Stylish 0.1.1 Released [11 Oct]". MozillaZine. Archived from the original on 10 December 2005.
- "Stylish - Custom themes for any website Version History". addons.mozilla.org.
- "Stylish - Custom themes for any website". Chrome Web Store.
- "Stylish extension - Opera Add-ons". Archived from the original on 30 January 2018.
- Barnabe, Jason (1 March 2010). "Stylish for Google Chrome". Userstyles.org.
- Barnabe, Jason (3 July 2013). "Stylish for Chrome and Opera (15+) 1.2b". Userstyles.org.
- "Stylish extension - Opera add-ons". Opera Software ASA. Archived from the original on 25 April 2015.
The oldest comment is dated 26 July 2013.CS1 maint: postscript (link)
- natalieg. "New version for Firefox". userstyles.org. Archived from the original on December 26, 2017.
- "Stylish - Custom themes for any website Version History". Firefox Add-ons. Mozilla. Archived from the original on 12 May 2018.
Version 3.0.1 is the first Stylish for Firefox WebExtension release; version 2.1.1 is the last Stylish XUL/XPCOM add-on release.CS1 maint: postscript (link)
- Sobolev, Vladimir. "Stylish for Safari".
- gera2ld. "Stylish for Opera". Opera Software ASA.
- Barnabe, Jason (9 April 2014). "Stylish for Safari". userstyles.org.
- Barnabe, Jason (1 January 2013). "Stylish for Opera!". userstyles.org.
- "Make the whole Web look better with Stylish," Nathan Willis, Mon 7 May 2007.
- JasonBarnabe (September 29, 2016). "The new leader of Stylish and userstyles.org". userstyles.org. Archived from the original on October 9, 2016.
- hideheader (September 29, 2016). "The new leader of Stylish and userstyles.org". userstyles.org. Archived from the original on October 9, 2016.
Justin hasn't posted any styles, isn't (yet) a forum admin, nor has he posted to the forum before today.
- hideheader (October 8, 2016). "The new leader of Stylish and userstyles.org". userstyles.org. Archived from the original on October 9, 2016.
OMG, you sold it, didn't you Jason? The site was moved to Amazon Web Services, the domain name was transferred and the new owner hidden behind a shell (domainsbyproxy.com), the repositories were transferred to a commercial Github account with no public-facing members.
- hideheader (October 8, 2016). "The new leader of Stylish and userstyles.org". userstyles.org. Archived from the original on July 5, 2018.
(a) similarweb.com is a web analytics company and (b) that new Userstyles form was created in SimilarWeb's Google Docs account. Naturally I'm curious, Justin. Does SimilarWeb.com own Stylish and Userstyles, or are you an employee who is simply using the company butter?
- "Version History of Stylish for Chrome". Crx4Chrome. Archived from the original on June 15, 2018.
- hideheader (December 20, 2016). "Release Notes - Stylish 1.6.3 is out!". userstyles.org. Archived from the original on July 5, 2018.
If you opt-in to the 'Style Library' then Justin collects every URL you browse to, along with the URL of the page you were just viewing. That is, he's collecting your complete browsing history.
- "Stylish - Custom themes for any website Version history". Add-ons for Firefox. Archived from the original on May 12, 2018.
- Heaton, Robert (July 2, 2018). ""Stylish" browser extension steals all your internet history".
- Goodin, Dan (July 6, 2018). ""Stylish" extension with 2M downloads banned for tracking every site visit". Ars Technica. Condé Nast. Retrieved July 6, 2018.
- Tung, Liam (July 5, 2018). "Use this popular Chrome, Firefox browser add-on? Google, Mozilla just banished it". ZDNet. Retrieved July 6, 2018.
- Cimpanu, Catalin (July 4, 2018). "Chrome and Firefox Pull Stylish Add-On After Report It Logged Browser History". Bleeping Computer. Retrieved July 5, 2018.
- @VessOnSecurity (16 August 2018). "Remember the Firefox extension Stylish that was found to snarf browser history? That was removed from the store, then added again, then again removed? Well, it's back" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- Brinkmann, Martin (17 August 2018). "Stylish add-on makes a return". gHacks.
- Heaton, Robert (16 August 2018). ""Stylish" is back, and you still shouldn't use it".
- Pilgrim, Mark (2005). 4.13. Adding CSS styles. Dive into Greasemonkey.